Back pain is common enough in people and I bet you have experienced it yourself. But would you be able to tell if your own dogs back was hurting?

Here are some things you might notice if your dog has back pain:

  1. Roached back – say what? A roached back is a rounded back. Don’t mistake this with the rounded back of a sight hound (think greyhound). Most breeds should have a back that is flat. If your dog is now having a rounded back, it could indicate that their back hurts. If the pain is more in the neck, a dog will often keep their head down.
  2. You might notice twitches or muscle spasm of their back muscles
  3. The might look stiff or uncomfortable when they are walking around. Think about how you walk when you first get up after bending over for a long time.
  4. They might avoid being picked up or being petted because it hurts. If your dog is avoiding your touch, pain is often a reason
  5. Avoiding activities. Your dog might have stopped jumping up onto the couch or furniture. They might be avoiding stairs or have lost interest in going for a walk.
  6. Dragging their back feet or loss of coordination. Back pain that arises from nerves being compressed can also cause weakness or decreased sensation of the back legs. The problem isn’t really in the back legs but in the messaging getting to them.
  7. Holding their tail down or less wagging of the tail. Raising the tail up and wagging can put forces through the spine that are painful and avoiding this may be more comfortable.

Along with these signs, you may also notice more general signs of pain. Keep in mind, many dogs will not cry out or vocalize pain unless it is very severe.

Laser Back
Juno Bird Dog

How is back pain treated?

It is important to work with someone who can do a proper evaluation of your dog to determine WHY they have back pain as it can be caused by many different things such as a muscle strain or disc disease. Determining WHY your dog’s back hurts is important in order to resolve the cause of the pain and not just the pain itself. A canine rehab therapist can do just that.

Treatments that can help include manual therapy, massage and laser. They will also be able to make other recommendations such as changes to your dog’s routine and home environment that can help the healing process. They will also assess your dog’s strength and flexibility and prescribe exercises that can help strengthen your dog’s back and core muscles.

If you want to learn more about how Pawsitively Fit can help your dog with back pain, you can get in touch with us by clicking on the button below.

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